Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mother’s Day, part Deux


Alleged parents

Mother’s Day Part Deux

It occurred to me, with all of the articles written about Mother’s Day recently, that I too, have a Mother.  I should have snapped to this fact sooner.  Both my daughter’s wrote lovely pieces in their blogs about their mother, the fetching Mrs. Traveler and what a positive impact she had in their lives.  (Oddly enough, she was also their parole officer).  And my wife, (again, the fetching Mrs. Traveler), wrote a lovely piece about her Mom.  And so her mom probably felt compelled to write a Mother’s Day message too, and so on and so on.  I would image that all the way up the female lineage on her side of the family, there are angels writing nice things about their even more angelic mothers.

So this brings me back to my mother.  She is senior citizen now, of course, and at last count was about 420 years old in Hamster years.   And she is quite tiny.  But to be clear, she’s not as tiny as a hamster.  I don’t even know why I referred to her age in hamster years.  I guess so I had an excuse to use my new natural gas/hybrid electric hand held calculator.  (It was purchased with Obama stimulus money for only $50,000.)  She is a bit frail now, since she has broken nearly every bone in her upper body at one time or another.  We are trying to get her to retire from the Rodeo Clown circuit.  She has always been a tough, energetic lady.  I remember her famously saying:  “When I work, everyone works!”  Or “while you are resting you can…… (reader fill in the blank with a tedious, monotonous, or boring task)

Mom has kept up with modern technology.  She has a new printer and was excited to test it out.  So she told me she printed every single page of my Intrepid Traveler blog.  The printed version was like a magazine of incredible travel and life stories.  I wanted to see it to get a visual idea of my writing production.  She said she only saved the good stories, and handed me a half page of print. Wow.  Burned by mommy.

It turns out that I don’t come by my savvy ability to travel the world by accident.  I must have inherited it.  My Dad spent several years in the Navy before and during the Korean conflict.  He was gone for weeks, maybe months at a time, serving our nation.  (Dad must have served our nation too much because we all struggle with our weight now).  I remember seeing intriguing old black and white photos of him framed on the wall of his study.  One was where he was standing next to a dogsled in Greenland.  I think they were just about to hitch him up.  I hope he was wearing comfortable shoes and the load was not too heavy.  Another photo was of him with a huge iceberg in the background.  In his hands were an ice-pick and a martini shaker.  He always dreamed big.

After my Dad retired, he and my Mom began to see the world together.  They went to Europe, South America, Asia, and many third world nations, like Detroit.  I am sure if there had been such a thing as travel blogs, we would have read about some of their exploits.  Or at least seen the police reports.  Some of their trips were quite long.  I remember one time they were gone for more than 80 days.  We began to worry since so much time passed without hearing from them.  But, not to worry, we found them at home, in the closet.  They were a little dehydrated, but fortunately they still had their boarding passes.

When my oldest child was due to be born, Mom and Dad were on a trip in Australia.  We sent them word that the delivery was going to be any day now.  They dashed back to the U.S. as quickly as they could.  I really wanted my wife to wait for them to get home before giving birth, so I duct taped her legs together for the last 72 hours.  The technique worked and now there is one more thing that duct tape can be used for.

So, there you have it, Gentle Readers.  You can see that my travel genes did not fall far from the gene pool tree.  So you can rest quietly with the knowledge that my traveling is an inherited trait.  And while you are resting, go back and re-read all my other travel stories.  I can’t think of a more tedious, monotonous, or boring task.

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The dumbest man alive


The dumbest man alive

I believe that I am or very close to being the world’s biggest dumbass. Sometimes I wonder how I find my way out of the bathroom in the morning.   My entire life has been littered with episodes of idiocy that demonstrate my lack of intelligence.  You be the judge.

Years ago, when my wife and I were young newlyweds, the wife went shopping with my sister.  She came home and proudly showed me her new earrings.  Without any malice, sarcasm, or intended insult, I calmly said something like:  “Nice!  Remember when those were in style?”

I didn’t turn in to a dumb ass overnight.  I think I was always this way.  As a youngster, I painted the neighbor’s car with house paint, I painted that same neighbor’s TV with wall paint, and I painted our newly installed hardwood floor with creosote wood preservative.  I was not old enough to know better, but these actions had to show there had to be a seed of stupidity growing in me.

A good example of being a dumb ass kid was back in high school, when we played a prank on our Biology teacher.   It was the winter break, just after Christmas.  Many people had already started taking down their decorations, and there were lots of Christmas trees that had been dragged to the curb.  We used my pickup truck and scavenged the entire town for discarded trees.  We particularly wanted the ones that still had a wooden frame still attached to the trunk to help it stand upright.  You see, our Biology teacher lived in a new subdivision, typical of the time, where there were no established trees growing.  The houses looked like toad stools on the prairie.  We had collected more than two pickup loads of trees and anxiously waited until after dark to deliver them.  We wanted to “help” our teacher with his landscaping, so we planned to stack up all those trees in his yard.  He would have an instant forest.

He lived on a Cul-de-Sac, so I parked my truck on the other end of his street.  I left the motor running in case we needed to make a fast getaway. The night was cold, moonless and pitch black.  We were just about done when a shadowy figure approached me.  I thought it was one of my buddies.  He said “how many trees are you going to put here”?  I told him we were just about done.  Then I realized this was not a buddy, but the Biology teacher.  Busted!  We all scattered like rabbits.  I ran thru several back yards and it was a while before I could make it back to my truck.  When I got to it, the engine was off and the keys were missing.  I knew instantly who had the keys.  I had no choice.  I knocked on the teacher’s front door.  He opened it, not saying a word, just dangling my truck keys in front of my face.  He said I could probably get them back from the police.  Oh crap.  One of the benefits of growing up in a small town is that the police don’t take pranks like this too seriously.  All we had to do was take all the trees to the police dispatcher’s house so she could use the trees for her rabbit farm.

Then there was the time when I was in Malaysia.  I was traveling with my agent and we had hopscotched across the tiny nation for a week seeing customers.  I was in a customer’s conference room waiting for the remaining attendees to arrive. To kill time I was studying a large map on the wall which was of South East Asia.  In the middle of the map was the island of Borneo.  I told the group of men who were there for my presentation that I always wanted to go to Borneo.  They all looked at me like I was a lunatic.  One of them said “you ARE on Borneo”.  His tone implied that I had to be an idiot not to know where I was.

A more recent example of dumbassness was when my wife and I were traveling.  We were talking about funny billboards we had seen.  I was remembering one advertising a bar-b-que restaurant that specialized in smoked sausage.  Their bill board used a clever word play on the sausage.  It said “you never Sausage a place!”  But my rendition of it to her was “you’ve never seen such a sausage….” then I realized I was hopelessly garbling the message.  My wife thought I was intentionally botching it to be funny…at first.  Then it dawned on her that I was just being myself….stupid.

I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb on the tree.  So saying stupid things, or doing stupid deeds, is just what endears me to the world, I hope.  I know my children think that, but they have been inoculated by my behavior for two or three decades.  Normal people don’t necessarily think it is proper or cute or rational for a grown adult to be a fool.  I hope by posting this message I can tell the reader that it is not with malice, or sarcasm or intended insult that I am the way I am.  They can’t arrest you for being stupid, can they?  You never sausage a fool.

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